LISTEN: Stuart Brain explains how local groups can access funding through the Co-Op
Applications for local community groups to receive funding supported by local people are coming close to the deadline now.
All three Co-Op stores in Highland Perthshire are inviting local community groups to apply for funding of £1,000 to £3,000.
This money is coming through the Co-Op’s Local Community Fund which is paid for through the Co-Op Blue Membership Card.
Stuart Brain, member pioneer for the Co-Op in Highland Perthshire, explained: “We have three stores in Highland Perthshire, Pitlochry, Dunkeld and Aberfeldy, and all three stores are looking for three causes to accept the Local Community Fund donations from the Blue Membership Co-Op Card.
“The applications opened at the beginning of May, but they close on the 29th of May. And we’re looking now for organizations to apply for this funding.”
Starting in 2016, the Co-Op Local Community Fund has so far raised £85m for 30,000 community projects across the UK.
Groups across Highland Perthshire have already received funding through the scheme before and now local groups have the same opportunity to apply again.
Mr Brian said: “I’ve only been with the co-op now for just a little over two years, and we’ve had different groups get the funding.
“The Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust, they applied for it and they were using that money to put in new paths and extending path networks that people can enjoy a good walk out, exercise their dog exercise and themselves.
“We’ve had the Breathe Youth Project in Aberfeldy, they used funds to help support the young people in the community.
“And again, we had Aberfeldy Town Hall, they used the funds to extend services, help preserve the building and add various other services to what they offer in the community as well.
“The Locus Centre in Aberfeldy currently is one of the causes that is building up their total for the funding, through membership, and they’re helping to finance the local I-Center, which replaces the community information hubs.”
Eligible groups must bring people together to access food, help improve people’s mental wellbeing, create opportunities for young people to be heard and make a difference, help people protect local biodiversity or tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions.
The applications are a three step process which can be done online, but Mr Brian suggest that groups apply as soon as possible so they don’t miss the upcoming deadline.
He said: “Do it as soon as you possibly can. Now that, that sounds almost like a cliche, but there is an application process.
“It takes, I think there’s six internet pages that you go through. It’s relatively straightforward, but there might be things that you might have to go back in with subsequent information and subsequent details as part of the application.”
More information about the funding which is available can be found on: https://causes.coop.co.uk/